Common Misconceptions About Personality Disorders

Updated on May 23, 2022

The stigma surrounding mental health issues leads to plenty of misinformation about various disorders, their causes, and their symptoms. While some conditions—like anxiety and depression—are beginning to benefit from more widespread information, personality disorders still come with plenty of misconceptions. Learning the truth about personality disorders makes it easier to educate and help patients dealing with these conditions. Read on to learn the truth behind some of the most common misconceptions about personality disorders.

Personality Disorders Are Just Character Flaws

Many people consider personality disorders to be the result of someone being selfish, attention-seeking, or displaying other negative character traits. This misconception stems from the negative stereotypes around those with personality disorders as well as a misunderstanding of mental illness in general.

For example, someone who thinks mental health issues aren’t that serious might also assume that someone is “faking” their personality disorder for attention. In actuality, personality disorders are long-term health conditions that stem from biological and environmental factors and create serious psychological symptoms.

Personality Disorders Stem From Childhood Trauma

Like all mental health issues, personality disorders can stem from traumatic childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect. However, these experiences aren’t the only causes of personality disorders. Genetics, environmental factors, and experiences throughout adulthood can also lead to the development of a personality disorder.

It’s easy to think that only individuals with a bad childhood can develop personality disorders, but this misconception neglects those whose personality disorder stems from other causes. To truly understand these disorders and how they affect patients, health professionals must consider all potential causes of personality disorders.

People With Personality Disorders Can’t Live Normal Lives

One of the most dangerous and widespread myths about personality disorders is that a patient will always suffer from their disorder. The truth, however, is that people with personality disorders can and do lead normal lives.

Though personality disorders are serious mental health conditions, they don’t have to limit an individual’s quality of life. Many patients with personality disorders achieve happy, fulfilling lives. That’s why treatment for personality disorders is so important. With professional help and effective support, patients with personality disorders can navigate challenges, overcome symptoms, and live a normal life just like everybody else.

Common Misconceptions About Personality Disorders